Govt Launches Midlands Action Plan For Jobs

The Government has launched the Midlands Action Plan for Jobs, aimed at delivering 10-15% employment growth in the region over the coming years.

The Plan is the first of 8 regional jobs plans to be published over the coming months as part of a new €250million regional jobs strategy led by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD.

The Midlands region covers counties Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath, and the key sectors targeted in the plan include manufacturing, tourism,

food and energy. Actions in the plan to be delivered over the period 2015-2017 include:

• Establish a Midlands Manufacturing Technologies Campus

• New cycling, walking and other recreational trails along the waterways of the region

• Establish a Skills Forum to connect education providers in the region with the employers/industry in need of skilled workers

• Develop a Regional Energy Hub for the Midlands

• A series of actions to promote 25% more start-ups in the midlands, including extra funding, mentoring programmes and establishing new incubator spaces for entrepreneurs like The Junction in Tullamore

• A series of actions aimed at attracting at least 25 additional multinational investment projects to the region by 2019, including building two advance facilities for Athlone, appointing an IDA Regional Manager for the midlands and actions to ensure that key IDA personnel overseas have enhanced knowledge and marketing plans for the region

• A series of actions to support extra employment growth in the 1052 existing exporting companies within the midlands region, most of which are SMEs.

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